Nielsen, the dominant source of TV ratings, on Tuesday said it had agreed to buy Arbitron for about $1.26 billion to expand into radio measurement.
Arbitron pays 70,000 people to carry around gadgets that register what stations they’re listening to. Since Nielsen also collects cash register data, CEO David Calhoun said buying Arbitron will let Nielsen be a one-stop shop for advertisers who want to know how the radio advertising they buy affects product sales.
The acquisition will let Nielsen expand the amount of media consumption it tracks from about 2 hours per person per day to 7 hours, Calhoun said in an interview.
“You don’t find many mediums that allow for that kind of increase,” Calhoun said.